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July 11, 2020 - Audubon Society

Truffles Aren't Just for Foodies—Some Birds Love Them, Too

Truffles Aren't Just for Foodies—Some Birds Love Them, Too
TrufflesFile Photo / © Photabulous!

A growing body of research shows that more species eat truffles than we realize, benefitting the mushrooms and the trees they grow on.

In 2012, Matthew Smith, a fungal ecologist at the University of Florida, found himself hiking through remote, old-growth forests of Southern Chile. He and a colleague had secured a grant to search for fungi species undescribed and new to science, but Smith was particularly keen on finding his favorite kind of fungi: truffles.

“When I go to a new place, I always look for truffles,” he says. “They are understudied everywhere in the world. You never know what you will find.”

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